Quick Links

Grading Marcin Gortat's play for 2014-15 season


Grading Marcin Gortat's play for 2014-15 season

Marcin Gortat began like a bolt of lightning and was having the best season of his career but by mid-January he was in a funk. He was being benched in fourth quarters when the Wizards faced small lineups, complained out his team’s individual defense which drew the ire of Paul Pierce and admitted that he wasn’t giving 100% every game. Then there were the frequent spats with John Wall over pick-and-roll concepts. It all led to a lot of criticism and Gortat responding by going into a shell and having his overall numbers slip from a year ago. His play skyrocketed after the All-Star break when he averaged a double-double but it ended with a whimper when he had food poisoning as he was a non-factor in the Game 6 elimination to the Atlanta Hawks in the second round.

The stats: 12.2 points, 8.7 rebounds and 56.9% shooting (3rd in NBA).

The accolades: Gortat came within about 70,000 popular votes of being selected as a starter for the All-Star Game.

The improvements: His help defense was a major factor in the Wizards being a top 10 scoring defense for the third year in a row. Gortat has a soft touch and can score away from the basket but when he’s at his best he’s running pick-and-rolls with Wall. Gortat with a full head of steam going to the basket is a tough cover. 

The ranking: Centers are a dying breed and the pickings are slim in the East with an aging Al Jefferson and Roy Hibbert’s disappearing act. Gortat can easily ascend to the No. 1 player at his position but it has everything to do with how he syncs with Wall. Jefferson usually gets the better of him head –to-head and his stats across the board are significantly better.

The next step: As efficient was Gortat was with his shooting, he could be much better if he finished stronger (more dunks, less finger rolls). He’s a physical player but relies a lot of soft touches which can backfire. Like a lot of bigs, he can become disengaged if he’s not getting the ball or having so split touches with Nene in the low post. Gortat can impact a game just by playing solid position defense, making Wall and Bradley Beal better just by his help.  He has to do it even when he’s not getting the shots or the touches on offense.

2014-15 grade: B-.

2015-16 outlook: If coach Randy Wittman stays true to his word and can find a competent stretch four to play next to Gortat instead of Nene, it’ll open up more pick-and-rolls for him with Wall which will result in more production.

RELATED: By the numbers: Bradley Beal, LeBron James, James Harden

Quick Links

2018 NBA Playoffs Wizards-Raptors Game 4: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

USA Today Sports Images

2018 NBA Playoffs Wizards-Raptors Game 4: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter and the Washington Wizards battle Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Serge Ibaka and the Toronto Raptors on Sunday night in Game 4 of the 2018 NBA Playoffs.

Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch:


Series: Raptors lead 2-1
Where: Capital One Arena
Tip-off: 6 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Washington (pregame coverage begins at 5 p.m.)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Time to get even

After a momentous Game 3 win, the Wizards have breathed some life back into their season. On Sunday, they can make this a brand new series.

With a win in Game 4 for the Wizards, they would tie the series and send it back to Toronto ensuring another home game in Washington. A loss would put them down 3-1, a deficit that has historically been hard to overcome.

Only 11 teams have accomplished the feat, most notably the Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA Finals. The Warriors did the same that year in the conference finals. It has only been done three times since 2006. 

How will Raptors respond?

Game 3 took on a much different tone and style than the previous two and it played into the Wizards' hands. It was much more physical and Washington did a good job of instigating contact and using it to their advanage. After the game, several players highlighted Markieff Morris shoving OG Anunoby and Serge Ibaka as a turning point.

Just because it worked in Game 3 doesn't mean it will carry over successfully in Game 4. Not only could the Raptors respond with their own dose of brutality, but the referees may try to nip anything of the sort in the bud early on.

It would not be surprising if Game 4 was officiated very tightly and if a message was sent in the first quarter to the players. After seeing how well it worked in Game 3, the Wizards will likely try to test the limits.

Playoff Beal

The Raptors will also try to adjust their defense following Bradley Beal's 28-point outburst in Game 3. He wasn't much of a factor in the first two games of the series, but broke out in Game 3 to lead the Wizards to a win.

The Wizards did a good job of getting Beal involved early. He was found for open looks from three in the first half and had two three-pointers in each of the first two quarters. Beal also took it upon himself to attack the rim and force the issue.

The Raptors held Beal back in the first two games by being rough with him and in Game 2 they got him in foul trouble. Surely he will be a big emphasis of their gameplan on Sunday.

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!

For more on the Wizards-Raptors series, check out or latest Wizards Tipoff podcast:

Quick Links

The Wizards dominated Game 3 because everybody ate ... literally

The Wizards dominated Game 3 because everybody ate ... literally

The Wizards returned to Washington, D.C. on Friday down 0-2 to the Raptors in their best-of-seven 2018 NBA Playoffs first-round series

The team lost a close one in Game 1 and was run out of the building in Game 2. Game 3 was must-win, and the Wizards knew what needed to happen in order for them to secure the victory.

"Everybody eats." 

That's the phrase that has defined the Wizards throughout much of the season They are at their best when John Wall is making plays and feeding his teammates.

On Friday night, the Wizards beat the Raptors 122-103 to force at least a Game 5. Wall finished with 28 points and 14 assists.

Bradley Beal finally broke out of his slump for 28 points and  Marcin Gortat, Mike Scott and Kelly Oubre all chipped in with at least 10 points.

But the stat sheet wasn't the only place where everybody eats.

Here's Marcin Gortat from Game 3. 

But if pantomiming isn't your thing, here is Bradley Beal actually eating popcorn during Game 3.

So what did we learn in Game 3? Well, for starters: "Everybody Eats" is not just a motto, it is a way of life.